I would be lying if I said this week has been easy. As a veteran, I dread turning on the TV or looking at social media to be reminded of the tragic ending of America’s role in Afghanistan.
My husband, who still serves today, was shot in Afghanistan by the Taliban in 2014. We had friends killed in action and one of my husband’s interpreters, KK, was shot in the head after the Taliban discovered he was helping US forces.
I know I am not alone in how I feel because I have received thousands of messages, comments, and texts from my military family across the country, and those still serving overseas.
To be clear, I have always supported a withdrawal from Afghanistan but what we have witnessed in the last 72 hours was not a measured, strategic military pullout. What we witnessed as a country, and on display for the world, was nothing of the sort. President Biden ignored warnings from members of his own party to employ a weak, premature exit unbefitting the sacrifice thousands of American soldiers made to maintain stability in the region for nearly two decades.
I could go into the hundreds of millions of dollars in military equipment and weapons the Taliban has commandeered but those numbers are just an additional, festering wound on top of the unnecessary sacrifice of human life we are witnessing.
The failed withdrawal left the still new and frail Afghanistan leadership unprotected and vulnerable to attack. There is something to be said about peace through strength and because the Biden administration is weak, the Taliban knew they could attack.
I now fear for our country and a future conflict with China. China has positioned itself over the last few decades to succeed the United States as the premier global superpower. As anticipated, China wasted no time engaging the newly cemented Afghan leadership, the Taliban, to harvest the country's vast natural resources.
The nation deserves answers and a level of self-accountability from our leadership for this unquestioned failure. But on Tuesday, all we heard from President Biden is one deflection after the other, projecting blame on the poor Afghanistan people and his predecessor(s), as a typical tone-deaf elitist will do.
What happened in Afghanistan is worse than in Saigon. What happened on the world stage has made us vulnerable to attack from China, and what has happened to the morale of those who had served or who are still serving is perhaps the most heartbreaking of all.
To those who served, lost loved ones, friends, or family in the War in Afghanistan, your sacrifices were not in vain. You fought hard and you fought for a just cause. Although the White House will not say this, the American people will: we love you. We appreciate you and we will never forget what this administration did.
Right now, if you are part of the military family, I encourage you to call your friend or family member and be an ear for them to vent; a shoulder for them to cry on. The military already deals with brutally high rates of suicide, and we cannot afford the loss of more American lives due to the poor decision of this administration.
To those who were a part of this disgusting lack of military leadership that we just witnessed, you should be ashamed. Woke politics has no place on military strategy and you have the price of human life on your hands.
At this point, it is up to us to pick up the pieces. I pray that God will give us guidance.
If this tragedy has shown us one thing, it’s that lack of leadership leads to suffering. It’s time to step up to the plate because we cannot continue forward in this direction.
Anna Paulina Luna is the host of Luna Talks with Anna Paulina, USAF Veteran, and Candidate for United States Congress.